Google recently trashed more than million accounts with the reason of violation. In reality there was hardly any violation in case of thousands of users. But still their accounts got reset and they lost data from many of Google apps services. It’s not good to lose data when you’re paying for business features of Google apps. This type of issues are concern for many freelancers who maintain client accounts on google app cloud. Also Google Closed the Free version of their Apps services in December 2012, It’s not possible to sign up for free service unless you’re a government service or school. So it is always better to find alternative to Google services if possible to avoid data loss.
Google apps seems to be the best cloud services that offers docs, email, analytics, calendar, tasks and other google services for business and individuals. It is not so easy to find alternative for Google Apps considering the type of apps and single sign-on feature that they offer to users. Loss of data is something that freelancers can’t compromise with and for this reason I’m listing some alternatives of Google apps for freelancers.
Microsoft Live Domains – Not effective like Google Apps but you can use Live domains with outlook.com for the official email ID. It works like charm but does lack features that you get with the Google’s official services.
Zoho office is the best alternative for Google apps. Zoho offers both paid and free plans for services like mail, notebook, docs, calendar etc. You’ll find most of the office related services covered under zoho. If you’re small business user then upgrading to paid plan will get your more storage and service features.
Hyper office has only paid plans on their cloud. You do get few days of trial service before they ask you to upgrade. Most of the services that zoho and Google apps offer are covered under hyper office.
Zimbra has both installed and hosted suite for office based apps. Zimbra suite is basically open collaboration software which has services similar like Google apps. There is some learning curve for using this service. So if you can’t get any other web based services to work as an alternative to Google apps then use zimbra.
Feng office offers installed and hosted office applications for small and medium size business. They do have affordable web based office apps plan. In comparison to zoho and hyper their features are not mature and lacks clarity in interface. But for limited users their service seems to be affordable compared to other office based cloud services.